Marine Platoon Commander Ann Bernard – Winning Hearts & Minds as a First-Time Storyteller

Ann Bernard a former Platoon Commander and Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Marine Corps where she served for 24 years. Ann is also the author of “How to Become a (First Time) Storyteller,” a book that describes her passion for leading others to discover how important first-time stories and new experiences are to understanding who we are as individuals, and to maximizing what we get out of life. Ann is the creator of the #365FirstsChallenge and CEO of 365Firsts, Inc., a company that teaches people to be more engaging, entertaining, and effective in communicating who they are so that they can be heard, understood, and make faster, better, and stronger connections.

In this episode, Ann and I discuss how in spite of her unrelenting ambition, drive, and achievements as a leader in the U.S. Marine Corp. and a competitive bodybuilder, she continued to find herself unable to open-up and create lasting bonds with others. When she left the Marines and her entrepreneurial efforts crashed and burned, her failures led to intense anger, suicidal ideation, and eventually her breaking point. Her spirit broken, she was brought to her knees, but in her darkest moments she found God and purpose, she found a way to share and trust. Ann rejoined the Marines, traveled the world, became a writer and author, and discovered the power of translating her new experiences into stories, and she became obsessed with becoming a prolific “first-time” storyteller. In this powerful and revealing discussion, Ann explains how the physical process of telling first-time stories enhanced every aspect of her life including her ability to create deep and lasting connections, improve her well-being, and establish a deeper level of self-awareness. Ann also discusses why she now teaches the art of first-time storytelling to others, and how learning this craft will allow anyone to dramatically improve their capacity to inform, entertain and persuade, and in the process discover who they are and who they want to be. Additionally, we get into the key elements of great storytelling, the power of opening-up and becoming vulnerable, and the importance of viewing yourself as a well-thought-out character in your life’s many first-time stories.


How to Become a (First Time) Storyteller: Share. Connect. Grow Closer Together:
Ann Bernard 365Firsts Podcast:


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